H1-B visas to undergo ‘changes’, says Trump

H1-B visas to undergo ‘changes’, says Trump

H1-B visas to undergo ‘changes’, says Trump

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump proposed increasing the prevailing wage paid to the visa holders in an effort to force companies to give entry-level jobs to an existing pool of unemployed workers.

The cap on the visas has frustrated tech giants, who rely on the H-1B program to bring in skilled workers due to a shortage in the United States. Because the current system imposes a seven per cent per country quota on allotment of Green Cards or the Legal Permanent Residency (LPR), countries such as India and China, with large population of potential or aspiring immigrants, have to wait long years to become USA residents.

"H1-B (sic) holders in the United States can rest assured that changes are soon coming which will bring both simplicity and certainty to your stay, including a potential path to citizenship", Trump said on Twitter.

Silicon Valley tech giants overwhelmingly support Democrats, which may mean that Trump is using the potential H-1B reforms as a bargaining chip to make a deal that would scupper the stalemate and end the shutdown.

The proposal is created to increase the number of H-1B beneficiaries by 16 percent, or 5,340 more workers, who hold advanced degrees from American universities.

Mr. Trump has expressed openness to a broader immigration overhaul, but has insisted that he first wants funding for a concrete or steel wall or barrier, along with funding for technology and personnel to handle the situation at the border. It is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.


Trump's tweet on the visa programme came amid his battle with congressional Democrats over spending legislation to fund the federal government.

Competition is tough for the temporary visas. Trump has refused to sign on to a bill unless it includes $5.6 billion to build a wall along the country's southern border to prevent illegal immigration by migrants.

Trump campaigned for president on a promise to crack down on immigrants, who he said took jobs away from United States citizens.

Last month, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told lawmakers that the USA should "endeavour to select the very best" among the applicants under the H-1B foreign work visa programme.

USA companies often use H-1B visas to hire graduate-level workers in several specialized fields, including information technology, medicine, engineering and mathematics.

But the visa programme has also drawn criticism for being used heavily by foreign outsourcing companies that squeeze out American firms.

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